Summer is just around the corner. And with any luck, you’ll be leaving the house with your bundle of joy. And by luck I mean a well-stocked diaper bag, hours of preparation, and a Venti coffee. But before you leave you might want to make sure you’re fully prepared with these summer baby must-haves.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase through one of my links I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. If you really like legal jargon you can read more about that here.
summer baby must-haves at any age
These are my summer must-haves for babies or kids at any age. And by any age I mean under two, I mean we have to have a cut off somewhere.
Sunscreen– a definite must, I prefer a safer option for baby’s sensitive skin (plus it’s great for my face too!) I linked my favorite safer sunscreen below, in fact I added that to my cart after I wrote this post!
Hat– keep the sun off their little bald heads and out of their eyes, I like the ones that have neck covers as well
Bubbles– I guess this isn’t a necessity, but who doesn’t love good bubbles?!
Muslin blankets– I use these lightweight blankets for everything in the summer: put baby down on the grass; cover the carseat/stroller to keep the sun out; cover up when nursing in public; a light blanket for those cooler nights.
The possibilities are endless and I love how big these blankets are!
Swim diapers– most pools will require these, even for your teeny tiny baby that will only get his toes wet.
I prefer the re-usable ones because they’re the same price as one pack of disposables but you don’t have to worry about running back to the store for more every couple of weeks. I find the reusable swim diapers run small so I suggest sizing up.
Car seat– you probably already have one of these but a good infant seat will take you far in life. I mean, if you plan on leaving the house this summer you’re going to need a good car seat.
Stroller– daily walks save my sanity, seriously. And in the summer I’ve been known to take more than one a day. A good stroller that’s easy to use will make your summer with baby enjoyable!
Diaper Bag– you’re going to want a really good diaper bag that can be easily wiped down. If you have a pricey bag that has to be wiped down with special essential oils grown in the rainforest ya need a new bag.
Especially for summer when it’s going to be tossed in the sand at the lake and inevitably coated in sunscreen.
Swim Gear– even if baby isn’t going to be getting wet I highly recommend some good swim gear with UPF protection.
Towels– a nice, soft towel for baby to stay warm after they swim is a great staple to have on hand
summer baby must-haves for babies 0-6 months
So you have a really little one and you’re not sure what you need? Don’t worry, I got you.
I’ve lived that life a few times. Actually, come to think of it 3 out of 4 of my babies were under 6 months during the summer of the year they were born. So I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to must-have items for the littlest babies.
In addition to all of the items above (seriously summer staples in my house, in fact I just busted out the sunscreen and bubbles for the first time last week) I recommend these items:
Baby wrap: Wearing baby is the easiest way to get out and enjoy summer activities like festivals and BBQ’s. I suggest a lightweight one that is breathable and won’t leave you and baby sweating through your shirts.
Both of the wraps I use are linked below. I love them both but I think the Boba wrap is more breathable. I linked the exact Boba wrap that I have but there are lots of colors!
Onesies– I just stock up on onesies for the summer, I don’t mess with pants and outfits too much. Mostly because I don’t want baby to overheat and also because I don’t want to keep track of lots of clothes.
Do yourself a favor and keep laundry to a minimum so you can get out and play. Stick to some basic onesie t-shirts on most days.
Lightweight jammies– You’ll want to be dressing baby in lightweight clothes at nap and bed time.
Remember that babies this age shouldn’t be sleeping with a blanket (a swaddle for a newborn is fine). So lightweight, breathable jammies will be key to surviving the summer heat.
summer baby essentials for babies 6-12 months
If your little one is a tad bit older you might get some good use out of these summer baby must-haves:
Baby Pool– Let’s be honest, mom’s use the pool just as much as kids. So this is a win-win purchase.
I find that babies love to splash and play in the water. A baby pool is an inexpensive way to keep them cool and happy!
I linked an option here if you want one that you can use for a few summers in a row. But honestly, I usually just go to Walmart and but the cheap plastic ones. Can’t be that!
Baby Floaty – If you plan on visiting some pools that are actually large enough for an adult (or lakes) you will get good use out of a baby floaty.
I usually take off the shadey-top, it makes the floaty easier to transport to the pool/lake/beach. Just make sure baby has on a hat and he’ll be good to go!
Water Table– my boys love a good sensory table, babies love a good splash at the table. Babies who can pull themselves up can easily stand at the table and splash around. If baby isn’t standing yet just hold him on your lap and let him splash to his heart’s delight.
I didn’t link one here for you because the only ones I could find were over $30 and honestly that’s ridiculous for a water table! I bought mine from a neighbor at a garage sale. And if you’re in a pinch a large plastic bowl filled with water (set it on the ground) will do just fine.
Items you absolutely don’t need
Ok, let’s round up this list of must-haves with the must-have nots. Is that a thing? It’s not a thing….but that’s ok.
Here’s the deal, you’re going to start shopping on Amazon or in Target and you’re going to see all of this super duper cute stuff that you feel like you need but will actually just be a bunch of junk.
Sunglasses– I can’t tell you how many pairs of baby & kid sunglasses I have purchased. They’re so stinking adorable and it makes sense that you would want to protect baby’s eyes.
But out of four kids approximately zero of them have kept on their glasses. Then the glasses get broken and lost and it’s a huge pain. Just avoid the temptation, and try again when they’re older.
Sidewalk Chalk– I have made this mistake soooooo many times but here’s the secret: babies eat the chalk. And spoiler alert: toddlers eat it too, so I suggest holding off until they’re closer to four.
Personal Fans – most of these are a total waste of money and just one more thing for you to deal with. Baby will regulate his body temperature. If you’re worried about baby overeating try these tips:
- Keep baby cool by staying in the shade
- head indoors at the hottest points of the day
- don’t keep baby in his/her carseat for too long if you can avoid it
- and making sure he is hydrated with plenty of milk (not water).
If you don’t have central, air a small fan might be a good idea in baby’s room, but you’ll have to use your best judgment about temperature. Remember, baby isn’t sleeping with blankets at this age so they might not need to be as cooled off as you think.
If I’m honest sometimes I wish I could live in a bubble until my babies are walking, it just seems easier. BUT I would get restless and drive my husband crazy sooooooooo I stock up on summer baby must-haves and hit the road!